Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Now And Later

Right now, right this moment, you'd like nothing better than to sit staring at the splendid moon floating in a shallow milk-cloud saucer of milk right outside your window. There's a nice breeze, and surely memories are moving on it. You might even discover that a few of them are actually pleasant, if you could manage to shut your head down and sit still long enough to properly investigate them.

You often don't have the time to sit still or to sit quietly, but you should find the time. Because you should know this: it's creeping up on you. One day in the not so distant future you'll go to sleep or fall down and you're never going to get up again.

If you're lucky, when that happens you'll end up aboard a slow boat going up some fog-swept river in light that looks like autumn dawn. It's just that there won't be any sun rising, no moon, no planet beneath your boat, no bottom to the river.

It's okay. Trust me, you'll get used to it. You'll be in a better place. Your days in front of the television or your computer will be over, but you won't even notice that. So many of the things you think you'd miss you won't even remember.

You will, though, still get little taps and touches from the place you once inhabited with so much desperation, confusion, or whatever: the feel of someone's hand touching the small of your back or brushing the hair from your forehead; a finger tracing your closed eyelids or your lips; your legs tangled up with those of another; the whisper of a familiar voice, the bark of a recognizable laugh, the sensation of your nose pressed right up against the back of a sleeping dog's ear.

Once a year, generally on a crisp, lovely day in the fall, you'll be able to see clearly something or someone precious, and you'll be allowed to shed real tears for the life you left behind. It's a sort of holiday in the place you're going, and pretty much everybody learns to look forward to it.

The rest of the time, for the most part, you'll just sort of drift obliviously, and you'll feel just fine.

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